Dr. Samantha Mary Karpel

Dr. Samantha Mary Karpel wife of Jared B. Katz, mother of Indira Miri Katz Karpel, age 2 and 10 months, younger sister of Elisabeth Boris Alderman, sister-in-law of Philip Alderman, and aunt of Ethan Mercer Alderman, died Sept. 22, 2013. She is the daughter of Jane Boris Brandes and Dr. Stephen Boris , and the stepdaughter of Stanley Brandes. Samantha was a resident of Woodmont in Milford, CT. Samantha grew up in Larchmont, NY, graduating from Mamaroneck High School in 1991 . She attended Vassar College where she majored in anthropology and spent a semester abroad studying in Bali, Indonesia, returning to Vassar in 2011 as part of a panel of anthropology graduates. She was a member of the first comedy performing group at the college, and graduated in 1995 with the Dean’s Fellowship in Education. After college, Dr. Karpel taught at the Colegio Americana in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and returned to Ecuador for field work while a student at the Yale School of Public Health, from which she earned an MPH in Global Health. Samantha went on to earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University, where she founded the Mind-Body Lab. She joined the staff of the West Haven V.A. Hospital, specializing in pain management, and lectured and authored articles from her research. She also collaborated in a national project combining a psychological approach to the problems associated with tinnitus. Samantha had been a crew member on the environmental schooner “SoundWaters,” and was a lifelong supporter of its project. She and her husband Jared moved to Woodmont in 2010, attracted by the neighbourhood and its proximity to the Long Island Sound. Their daughter Indira was “born in the house by the sea.” Most recently, as a cancer patient who had inspired the staff of the Smilow Center , Samantha was asked to participate in the Center’s art installation celebration , “I Am Here” in May of this year. A ballet dance was performed to honor her “courage and spirit .” When she was asked before surgery if she wanted to walk or ride a gurney to the operating room, she had answered “I’ll dance there,” and boogied down the hall. Samantha and her daughter Indira, wearing a tutu, joined in to applause. In addition to the constant presence of music and dance in her life, Samantha’s daily routine was marked by a broad array of personal commitments and engagements. She expressed a love and appreciation of animals and the natural environment. She enthusiastically embraced her Jewish identity and traditions, and became the repository and transmitter of family history. She was adventuresome, especially in her appreciation of little-known societies and cultures , worldwide. She reached out to all people with whom she came into contact , with equal respect and love . She drew out the best in everyone.
Funeral service at Temple Emanuel, 150 Derby Ave., Orange, CT., Tuesday morning at 11. Interment in the Mishkan Israel Cemetery, Jewell St., New Haven. Shiva will be observed Tuesday (9/24), Saturday (9/28), and Sunday (9/29) from 6:00 – 9:00 pm with Minyan around 7pm

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  1. Becky Czlapinski said,

    09.24.13 at 11:48 am

    Jared and family,
    I am truly sorry to hear about your recent loss. Sam put up one of the most courageous fights I have ever seen with such optimism and positive energy. She has touched my life and I know she will be greatly missed by many. You and your family are in my thoughts and I hope that the memories of our dear Sam will help ease your pain. She will be greatly missed.
    Becky (VA friend)

  2. arlene levine said,

    09.24.13 at 12:54 pm

    I am so so sorry to hear about Sam’s passing. I remember her beauty, her spirit and her selflessness. Treasure your and Indira’s memories of the devoted and generous Mom and wife with whom you shared life. There really are no words to express this way too premature loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all your family. Celebrate Sam’s life every day. My sincere condolences. Arlene

  3. Mark Raymond said,

    09.24.13 at 1:11 pm

    I attended the “I Am Here” flower project installation at Smilow Cancer Hospital in May and was fortunate enough to see the beautiful dance that Dr. Karpel and her daughter performed. Although I didn’t know her personally, I was grateful that she shared her courageous story as well as her talents with the very appreciative crowd. Their performance was inspirational. I’m very sorry to hear of her passing.

  4. Kara Kalmanson Tenzer said,

    09.24.13 at 2:26 pm

    Dr. Boris was my family pediatrician my whole life. I didn’t know Samantha personally other than from living in the same town. Her neshama should have an Aliyah you should find comfort among the mourners of tzion and Yerushalayim.

  5. Margrethe (Meg) Mason Hackett said,

    09.24.13 at 7:40 pm

    Sam lives on in the lives that she has touched. I am so sorry to hear of her passing.
    Margrethe (Meg) Mason Hackett
    San Mateo, CA
    (Mamaroneck High School Class of 1990)

  6. Mia Sage said,

    09.24.13 at 11:21 pm

    Sam was a few years ahead of me at our psychology graduate program and while she didn’t know me very well, I admired her greatly. I was immediately drawn to her beauty, wisdom, and the light that seemed to generate directly from her core. I stayed abreast of Sam’s life and professional projects through social media and she served as such an inspiration for me, both spiritually and professionally. I loved how much Sam seemed to love her work and how socially conscious and present she was. I know I am just one of the many humans and animals who were reached and impacted by Sam’s presence. I send all my love and strength to her spirit, her family, and her friends.


  7. Christine Webler said,

    09.25.13 at 9:23 pm

    Dear Stephen and Jane,
    I am so sad to hear about Samantha.. Even though I have not seen her in many years I remember her very well.. She was such a beautiful lady and dearly loved by her family.. This must be extremely heartbreaking for you both.. You will be in my thoughts.. Love Chris Webler

  8. Suzanne D'Arco said,

    09.26.13 at 7:46 pm

    I worked with Sam on the tinnitus project at the VA. She was such a sweet and gentle soul and her memory will live on with us. I remember particularly our conversations about Judaism and her enthusiam about becoming a mother. Her smile would light up her whole being.
    Her beautiful daughter Indira will carry on her spirit and bless this world with all that Sam did, and more. My deepest condolences.

  9. Blair Jacobson said,

    09.28.13 at 2:44 pm

    I remember Sam vividly from growing up in Larchmont. Full of vitality and so warm natured. This is so sad. What a loss to the world. Way too early.

    We send our most heartfelt condolences to her family.

    Blair Jacobson
    London, England

  10. Shanelle Robinson said,

    09.30.13 at 1:10 pm

    To the family of Dr. karpel:
    I offer my condolence and prayers unto to you. Sam was a wonderful woman. She was dedicated to her studies and towards contributing positive assistance for our patients at the VA. I am at a loss for words on what a great loss this is.

  11. Leonard Joseph said,

    10.01.13 at 2:19 pm

    I did not know Dr. Samantha Mary Karpel; however, I met her through the wonderful words and stories of family from Doctor Stephen Boris. Doctor Boris always beamed with pride and joy whenever he spoke of his family. Sadly, his eyes watered during my last visit to his office with my kids. He no longer spoke baseball but of his daughter’s battle with cancer.

    My children, Lemar, Matt and Maeleen and I send our heartfelt condolences to the families of Doctor Samantha Mary Karpel. She is dancing like she has never danced before. May she rest in peace. God bless her husband and her children.

  12. Miriam Vitale said,

    10.01.13 at 11:17 pm

    Never met this wonderful woman, but I am sure she will live on in the memories of her friends & family & all of those whose lives she touched. I work at the West Have VA & wish I had met her.

  13. Lucille Lewis Johnson said,

    10.05.13 at 4:16 pm

    Dear Jared:
    We all so enjoyed reconnecting with Sam and meeting you and Indira at the Anthropology Reunion in 2011. We are deeply sorry to hear of her untimely death and send our best wishes to you all.
    Vassar College Anthropologists

  14. Ginger Davis Hartung said,

    11.04.13 at 1:03 am

    Sam was a year behind me at MHS but I remember her vividly. It is impossible for me to remember her without a smile on her face. Such a warm and genuine young woman. It is heartbreaking that she is gone too soon. Sam was beautiful, kind, and genuine. Because she lived, she has left the world a better place.

    Ginger (Davis) Hartung
    Dallas, TX

  15. The Rubin Family (Michael, Ava and Samantha) said,

    11.04.13 at 4:40 pm

    Though I never knew Samantha, I have known her dad, Dr. Boris, for close to twenty years, as the family’s pediatrician. From my office visits with Dr. Boris, I knew Dr. Boris took great pride in his Samantha. She was a true beauty, inside and out. There are no words to express the sadness I feel for Dr. Boris and his family.